The Foyer

The floorplan shows the "after" version following all of my renovations.

One of the selling points of this place was the mud room in the foyer; everyone who had seen it positively gushed over it. It's quite elaborate: a big fancy coat rack and two broad padded benches that wrap around the back corner. Honestly, I looked at it and immediately thought, well there's some seriously underutilized space; after all, I'm not a farmer, nor will I be entertaining guests who arrive on horseback. (As an aside, have you ever seen anybody with so many freaking sneakers?)

So, on 25 October I tore it out. And what a job that turned out to be: built like a brick outhouse, the bench was assembled from 2x4s and installed before the walls were rocked. My plan was to build a nice bookcase in the former coat rack area, as I otherwise have no room for my books... or coats, for that matter.

The bookcases represented a very bizarre coincidence. Target had a bookcase set that was exactly one-quarter inch wider than the space. Yes, you read that right. I think I measured everything about a dozen times to be sure before ordering the units. Then I had to slice a quarter inch off of each shelf, plus the tops and bottoms, in order for it to fit. It was assembled in place: I had to cut holes in the coat closet wall so I could install the assembly screws. Good luck to anyone who might want to remove it!

The kitchen makeover did away with the need to build a coat closet: I had more than enough cabinet space for food, and it was a trivial matter to convert the pantry into a coat closet, fulfilling the purpose most visitors assumed it had, and saving me the time, cost and effort of building one.

One of my Thanksgiving guests made a suggestion for the spare foyer space (below), inspired by the bookcase: make it a little reading room, with a comfy chair, an ottoman, and a reading lamp. Once the seed was planted, it was on my mind ever since...

Then, as a birthday present to myself in February 2023, I made it real:

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